Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not for bikes

Sometimes it is useful being old as you recall things that no longer seem to be documented, or at least have been forgotten by most people.

A case in point was a recent discussion elsewhere and in more than one place about the conditions under which City Link, a pay road, was built. I did not correct anyone who had things wrong and things may have changed since I gained my knowledge. I recall it vividly because it was such an outrage, and even now I can feel my temperature rising. Without going into the detail, people were deliberately funnelled onto City Link so the the private company who owns it would make more money and public roads, with some improvements to them, were turned into private roads. Go south, north or west in Melbourne, and there will be a toll road. Not so for the freeway to the expensive eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Oh no, they have a lovely wide freeway which is actually free.



This talk I will scotch though. This is Melbourne's Princes Bridge and a lovely and fine old bridge it is too. There is chatter about it it becoming a one lane in each direction for cars, the extra space taken by a bicycle lane and and more width for trams. You can see where the pedestrians walk in this Google Map image. The line beside them is a dividing line on the footpath for cyclists using the bridge, the other side of the bridge having the same treatment. What about where the bicycles are now? That looks like a bike lane on the roadway, albeit a narrow one.

It is not a bike lane and was never meant to be. There were incidents of pedestrians on the footpath walking in the bike lane being whacked by mirrors of passing vehicles. The line was painted to keep vehicles away from the very edge of the footpath.

So, there is not a bike lane on Princes Bridge, only a pedestrian/bike shared path.

14 comments:

  1. Our Lord Mayor has done something similar to Bourke Street which runs through Surry Hills in Sydney. A bike lane down the western side has reduced the available width for car traffic to one very tight lane each way.

    Buses have trouble using the street and it feels quite dangerous now driving down what previously was a charming suburban thoroughfare.

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    1. Victor, in Melbourne the numbers cycling are starting to outweigh people in cars. I feel they should be encouraged and if motorists suffer disadvantage, I think in the long run it will be worth it.

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  2. Even if it was a bike lane, why are the bikers so close to the traffic lane? They have so much space to their left, plenty of room for bikes and pedestrians.

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    1. ROFLMAO.

      Some bike riders are as feral as V8 driving hoons. [I'll concede that many are not].

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    2. River, pedestrians wander over into the bike part of the footpath, so the cyclists have to go slower. The serious ones want to go fast and generally keep up with the traffic.

      FC, as a driver, I have never had an issue with cyclists, only as a pedestrian a couple of times.

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  3. Maybe the signage should be made clearer or the lines painted differently to keep the cyclists away from cars. Maybe we should all ride bikes and have priority over cars. Maybe I should shut up.

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    1. Don't you DARE shut up, Diane. This is the first I knew about a bike lane on a footpath. Many traffic related signs are meaningless until one knows their way around and no longer needs them.

      As for all riding bikes... one with a 2 stroke motor attached for all the hills? But not the 76 kms I currently travel to work [which would be longer without tollways and freeways].

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    2. I agree with your Diane. The more who cycle will mean the more lanes that are built for them.

      FC, yes, I would like a powered bike too, but the 76kms is a bit much.

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  4. I must admit I found the toll roads so weird when I was in Sydney. I'd never experienced them before..we don't have them at all in Perth..apart from making money what is their purpose, why are they there?

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    1. Grace, Victor has put it very succinctly below.

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  5. PerthDailyPhoto - The least reason Sydney's toll roads appear to exist is to facilitate traffic. The main reason they exist seems to be to earn money for the private operators so it is ironic many of them have gone into receivership at some stage.

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    1. Thanks Victor, ironic indeed! The concept still seems bizarre to me, I must Google and see why and when it all started.

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  6. You're slightly incorrect about the Eastern Freeway remaining free for the wealthy of the Eastern suburbs. The roads which were chopped down were those which would present a free alternative to the Citylink. One vivid case in point being Boundary road and Macauley road in North Melbourne. The Eastern Freeway is so far away from where the Citylink runs that it's of no threat to its revenue so hence stayed as is. Although there are people who would like to sell it to a toll road operator in exchange for widening it (!)...

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    1. Good point Rod, thanks. Widen it all they like but get trains running on it first.

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